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The Daily Goodbye

Patricia Sullivan

Good morning, sunshine.

Jose Lagos
, a Honduran immigrant who started his life in the U.S. by selling hot dogs from a cart in the streets of Miami, and ended up leading the fight for immigrant rights, died of cancer at age 45.

Vincent Dell'Osa Jr.
was "a veritable surgeon of brass, with magic fingers and a passion for perfection that wouldn't accept indifferent work," the Philadelphia Daily News' John Morrison wrote. "That dent. It had to be erased; it had to be made invisible. That bent bell, it had to come out of his South Philadelphia workshop better than it was.
As a result, musicians took their wounded instruments to him for more than 40 years when he was basically the only repairman in the region with special skills."

Another skilled obit writer, Frederick Rasmussen of the Baltimore Sun, tells the tale of Joseph Lloyd Alsop who was aboard a minesweeper just outside of Pearl Harbor on the morning the Japanese attacked. On D-Day, he was on a destroyer 1,000 yards from the Normandy beaches, providing as much cover fire as possible for the infantrymen on the shore. "To give you a personal example of the intensity of this battle, one of my fellow mates began the day with thick, coal black hair, and by that evening his hair was totally white," he later wrote. After the war, Alsop became a school bus driver.

One of the original investors, and the designer of the Vail ski resorts logo, has died. Dick Hauserman undoubtedly would have preferred leaving this world on a ski trail, but he was in New York when he died.

A man who lived to see his own obituary in print has now died (we think). Irish flight engineer Edmund O'Keeffe had first been reported dead on Christmas Eve in 1958 after a fatal accident in Britain which killed nine people. He survived until recently (obit doesn't say when) and died at age 86 in Britain (and obit doesn't say where or of what). Without those details, how can we be sure he's dead?

By Patricia Sullivan  |  December 3, 2009; 9:02 AM ET
Categories:  Patricia Sullivan , The Daily Goodbye  
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